Health and Hygiene Teaching

Children and young adults in Nepal struggle to find basic information about their personal health. Knowledge like the causes of certain illnesses, how to maintain hygiene standards or sex education, can be scarce in Nepal. Volunteers work with rural schools and our team to deliver impartial health information in a fun and engaging way.

Health and hygiene education from interns and volunteers Nepal

Each year, in August and September, The Mountain Trust facilitates a three-week Health and Hygiene teaching programme which aims to provide impartial information to to young people in order to improve hygiene practices and increase awareness of common diseases, illnesses & sexual health.  

To take part in this programme a medical background is suggested but not essential. Volunteers are provided a training day, teaching materials, and full support in field.

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Overview

In this initiative, 3 schools are provided with a week-long Health and Hygiene Education Programme carefully designed to cater to the needs of their students. This is the first formal Health and Hygiene programme and will be based in Pokhara.  

Young people living in adverse conditions in Nepal have their health and wellbeing threatened by a lack of knowledge in some basic subjects like waterborne disease, transmission of pathogens, and sexually transmitted infections. School teaching in these areas is often weak and taboos exist around illness and sex especially. Health and Hygiene teaching volunteers are an extremely useful tool in getting around the cultural norms that prevent young people seeking information about these sensitive subjects.

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Aims and Objectives

This project aims to address community-specific health needs. There is a strong need for this as the current 'Environment, Population and Health' lessons in Nepali schools barely cover the actual practical health needs of the community. Students will be given a thorough grounding in key diseases affecting the Pokhara community and will be educated on how to avoid these problems. 

Specific diseases to be addressed include:

  1. Water-related problems (emphasis on typhoid, diarrheal diseases etc).
  2. Dental problems (related to no/incorrect teeth brushing)
  3. Drug problems / Smoking (especially illegal homemade alcohol)
  4. Ear wax, pharyngitis, rhinitis
  5. Skin diseases
  6. Sexually transmitted infections
  7. Diabetes and Cardiovascular diseases

This programme aims to go beyond the superfluous concepts outlined in the students’ textbooks and provide thorough explanations of real health issues facing the community. We aim to make it a fun and memorable programme for these students and provide long-term follow-up, in terms of annual repeated visits to the same schools so that the education provided can be sustainable.

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Training Day

Before the actual programme in Pokhara, all volunteers (at least those within the UK and near Oxford/Cambridge) are encouraged to attend a training day where they can get to meet each other and learn more about the programme and receive some specific language and teaching training.

  • Training will take place in Oxford University. 
  • Simple lunch will be provided.
  • Volunteers will meet and go through the programme itinerary.
  • Volunteers will be able to practice the songs and games in the programme.
  • The group will learn and practice basic Nepali medical phrases.
  • We will be able to talk about essential pre-trip logistics (e.g. insurance) and provide important contact information.

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Programme Details

Each programme day will be around 5 hours long. There will be time set aside for lunch and ice-breakers during the day.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival, introduction to students, distribute materials, teaching on effective hand-washing and how it aids disease prevention

10:00 - Arrival, volunteers introduce themselves, students split into smaller groups each group led by a pair of volunteers.

10:30 - Ice-breakers for each group so that the kids can loosen up and become comfortable with the volunteers.

11:00 to 13:00 - Go through some of the activities listed in the Hand washing education booklet (e.g. Break the chain (of disease transmission)

Lunch

14:00 - All the groups reconvene. Volunteers from each group share points on what they’ve learnt.

14:30 - Show handwashing video to kids (on laptop) and do a demonstration on good hand washing (WHO) to the kids. Then get them to practice in their groups (group leaders supervise).

15:30 - Re-emphasize main points on hand-washing, distribute free soaps to the children

16:00 - end of first day.


Day 2

Day 2 - Dental hygiene workshop for students (brushing techniques, discuss dental diseases)

10:00 - Students split into groups, recap on the day before, get each student to volunteer one of their most important learning points (some of the students are really shy and will need lots of encouragement!)

10:30 - Each group does a fun quiz on the material from the day before and they will be kept and graded before the winning team gets prizes at the end of the day - to incentivize the students to learn.

11:00 - Brainstorming on dental and oral diseases (cavities, caries, gingivitis, ulcers, gum bleeding), discuss symptoms and signs of these diseases and how they could progress to a serious state.

12:00 - Discuss toothbrushing techniques by tooth brushing video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdhptrhn2tM), how to keep their mouth clean if they don’t have a toothbrush etc. again students should have a live demonstration from their group leaders and get to try it out themselves.

Lunch

14:30 - All the groups should convene and discuss learning points of the day (again picking a volunteer per group, different one from the day before), distribute free toothbrushes and possibly small toothpaste tubes to each student, the winning group gets their prizes.

15:00 - end of day 2


Day 3

Day 3 - Brainstorming and discussion of common diseases affecting Nepalese people, warning signs and preventing these diseases

10:00 - Students split into groups, recap on the day before, get each student to volunteer one of their most important learning points.

10:30 - Each group does a fun quiz on the material from the day before and they will be kept and graded before the winning team gets prizes at the end of the day.

11:00 - Students in individual groups brainstorm critical diseases affecting the Nepali population, e.g. skin diseases, ENT diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, special learning materials detailing the chain of transmission for each disease and flashcards for each disease will be prepared beforehand. To break up the discussion, volunteers can introduce more hands-on activities and games.

Lunch

15:00 All the groups should convene and discuss learning points of the day (again picking a volunteer per group, different one from the day before), the winning group gets their prizes.

16:00 - end of day 3


Day 4

Day 4 - Showing video on puberty, safe sexual practices, introduction to contraception and its use, discussion on need for contraception, STIs, relationships

10:00 - Students split into groups, recap on the day before, get each student to volunteer one of their most important learning points.

10:30 - Each group does a fun quiz on the material from the day before and they will be kept and graded before the winning team gets prizes at the end of the day.

11:00 - Students will be split into male and female groups in separate rooms and male volunteers will address male students whereas female volunteers will address female students (to avoid the problem of students being shy, uncomfortable with talking to the opposite sex etc.). In this time, students can be shown a cartoon video on safe sexual practices and then, common STIs and their consequences can be discussed.

12:00 - Students will explore various modes of preventing unwanted pregnancy, STDs (e.g. Abstinence, avoiding all kinds of sex (beyond intercourse), condoms, microbicides).

Lunch

13:30 - Question and Answer session

14:30 - All the groups should convene and discuss learning points of the day (again picking a volunteer per group, different one from the day before), the winning group gets their prizes

15:00 - end of day 4

Hospital Visit

Dependent on timing after the programme is completed you will be able to visit a local hospital in order to visit the children's wards. On the ward visit you will be able to distribute toys, treats and raise some smiles. Programme Facilitator, Ramyia, has developed a magic show specifically designed for children in hospitals. Click here for more information.

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Visit to Riverbed Community

The group will also have the possibility of visiting a landless riverbed community that The Mountain Trust has been supporting for many years, most recently with a full-scale sanitation project. Read more about the health needs of the Riverbed Community in this research document.

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Logistics

When you arrive in Nepal you will be met at the airport by our Kathmandu Intern Facilitator. Your onward travel to Pokhara and overnight accommodation in Kathmandu will be arranged when you arrive.

Volunteers work with the Mountain Trust Health and Hygiene team. The team comprises of past volunteers, facilitators and translators. Groups are based in Pokhara and travel to the schools every day together. Travel is facilitated by the Mountain Trust team. Homestay accommodation is available with local families. This is both enjoyable and cheap and will provide you with a unique insight into Nepali culture.

Nepal

Outcomes

Each year the health and hygiene programme develops to become more effective with the input of volunteers. Feedback is also collected from teachers, targeted students as well as the volunteers themselves at the end of the programme to help us develop the programme and institute improvements the following year. Suggestions that will be implemented this year include developing a source/information materials bank, bringing and distributing medical supplies etc. during the programme, and developing closer ties with the schools at which we teach.

 

Address

The Mountain Trust

20a High Green, Great Shelford,

Cambridge, CB22 5EG, UK

Contact Details

Email: Contact Us

phone: [+44] (0)1223 844204

Charity Registrations

The Mountain Trust UK Charity Registration No. 1112841

Nepal Charity Registration - NGO No. 3442/072/073